News update: Monday 10 December


Pop-up Globe launches search for descendants of serial killer

Is your last name Somerset, Neville, Plantagenet, Ibsen, Constable, Babthorpe, Cholmley, Slingsby, Bellasis, Talbot, Yelverton, Calthorpe, Gough, Spooner, Neale, Frere, Stokes or Brown?

Pop-up Globe is searching for living relatives of King Richard III, the infamous King of England who died at the bloody Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.

Richard, also known as Richard Plantagenet, was the subject of Shakespeare’s dark comedy Richard III – now playing at Pop-up Globe – and cemented Richard’s reputation as a serial killer who had his two young nephews murdered in the tower of London.

While Richard himself had no children, and is considered to be the last of the Plantagenets — an illegitimate line of the Plantagenet dynasty survives today, represented by David Somerset, 11th Duke of Beaufort.

There are known to be several lines of Plantagenet relatives around the world, including in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Canadian-born Michael Ibsen, the 17th generation nephew of Richard III, was present in the UK at the start of the archaeological dig in a carpark in York, where the king’s long-lost remains were discovered in 2012. Richard’s mother Cecily Neville could (mathematically) have several million direct descendants today.

People with the following surnames, all of which have been linked to descendants of Richard III, should check their family trees to see if they are related to the monarch: Somerset, Neville, Plantagenet, Ibsen, Constable, Babthorpe, Cholmley, Slingsby, Bellasis, Talbot, Yelverton, Calthorpe, Gough, Spooner, Neale, Frere, Stokes, and even Brown.

Those who believe they are from the bloodline are invited to contact Pop-up Globe. Any relatives who can show their familial connection to Richard will receive tickets to see Richard III in action, as well as experience a backstage tour and special meeting with the cast and company.

“Richard III is one of the most iconic and notorious Kings in history,” says Pop-up Globe’s artistic director Dr Miles Gregory. “He’s portrayed by Shakespeare as a ruthless, devious, manipulative man who murders his way to the throne. However, the historic King Richard has a much better reputation. Having done so much research as part of our rehearsal process, we’d love to meet any living relatives of King Richard and host them at our playhouse.“

If you believe you’re related to Richard III, and can show some evidence of your relation, please get in touch with Pop-up Globe to claim your pair of tickets. Please note that the Pop-up Globe’s research team will assess all claims and their decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.

Email for more information.


News update: Friday 7 December


Thanks to a ground-breaking new sponsorship initiative, Kiwis can now see world-class Shakespeare performed at Pop-up Globe for just five bucks.

Today, Pop-up Globe announced that Ellerslie Event Centre has committed to a revolutionary sponsorship deal that will make all groundling tickets purchased online for The Taming of the Shrew and Richard III at Pop-up Globe’s current Auckland season accessible for all pockets. The groundlings are the standing audience who watch at the front of the stage. They’re just inches from the actors and frequently find themselves caught up in the action.

Pop-up Globe founder and Artistic Director Dr Miles Gregory says the generosity of Ellerslie Event Centre to make ticket prices more affordable for New Zealanders is a game-changer.

“We’re very grateful to Ellerslie Event Centre for making it possible for Pop-up Globe to offer world-class entertainment as this remarkable price. High ticket prices are the single biggest barrier to making theatre accessible and this act of generosity means that everyone can afford to come and share the magic of the Pop-up Globe experience, regardless of their disposable income.

“Watching a Pop-up Globe performance as a groundling is an unforgettable experience, perfect for those new to Shakespeare or young people. If you’re a parent hoping to get your kids hooked on Shakespeare, our new subsidised $5 ticket price means that you can bring a whole family of five for just $25 dollars.

“Pop-up Globe’s mission is to share the magic of Shakespeare’s work performed in the space for which it was written with as many people as possible. Now, thanks to this unprecedented sponsorship from Ellerslie Event Centre, we’re a big step forwards in making Pop-up Globe shows accessible to everyone.”

Craig Fenwick, Executive General Manager Hospitality and Events at Ellerslie Event Centre says he is delighted to support Pop-up Globe’s mission to share Shakespeare with Auckland and beyond.

“We’re proud to host New Zealand’s most successful theatre company, and here at Ellerslie Event Centre we’re committed to providing an outstanding experience to all of our visitors. We’ve always known groundlings are at the heart of the action, so to subsidise their tickets and enable more people to enjoy it is an initiative we’re thrilled to support.

“Pop-up Globe is one of the best live entertainment experiences in Auckland and I hope many families will now be encouraged to join the magic it has created,” adds Fenwick.

From today, all advanced groundling tickets purchased online for The Taming of the Shrew and Richard III will be at a subsidised rate of $5 and available online until 90 minutes before the show start time. Door sales for all shows are available at the standard $25 walk-up price.

Audiences can take up this deal straight away with Pop-up Globe’s critically-acclaimed season delighting thousands of fans already. The New Zealand Herald has remarked comedy The Taming of the Shrew is “entertaining and poignant” and The Daily Blog has claimed tragedy Richard III as “the best two and a half hours of theatre money can buy”. Both of these productions are now showing until February 3.

All Pop-up Globe performances are two hours, fifteen minutes with a 15 minute interval. Pop-up Globe’s beautiful summer garden opens 90 minutes before a performance and offers delicious food and beverage options for audiences to enjoy in the many undercover areas before the show. Free parking is available.

The $5 groundling ticket is available for all shows playing until February 3 2019. Tickets can be purchased at this special price from


News update: Thursday 15 November


1000 shows | 500,000+ tickets | 2 countries

Pop-up Globe spins into action this weekend with world premieres of new productions and on track to reach a massive milestone during this spectacular season of Shakespeare.

During its fourth New Zealand season, featuring The Taming of the ShrewRichard III, Hamlet and Measure for Measure, the New Zealand-born theatre company will notch up its 1000th global performance – an extraordinary achievement in less than three years.

Tomorrow night’s gala opening of The Taming of the Shrew also marks more than half a million tickets sold, and sees the company mounting simultaneous seasons in Auckland and Sydney – believed to be a first for any New Zealand arts company.

Pop-up Globe is now the most successful theatrical export ever developed in New Zealand – and one of the most successful Shakespeare companies in the world, selling some 250,000 tickets to its global productions every year, as well as acting as an ambassador for New Zealand arts and creative talent at home and abroad.

Pop-up Globe founder and artistic director Dr Miles Gregory says that the company’s success is down to teamwork and a Kiwi “can-do” attitude.

“New Zealand has a long and proud heritage of making amazing projects from scratch in our own back-yard. Pop-up Globe started right here in Auckland and is now one of the world’s leading Shakespeare companies. We’re very proud that our team are based here and that we can showcase these extraordinary plays to our home crowd before any international transfer.”

Every year, the company receives thousands of applications from around the world to join their acting ensemble. The company believes that an international ensemble brings benefits far beyond the stage, so while some 75% of the casts are drawn from New Zealand actors, Pop-up Globe has worked with actors from America, the UK, Norway, Australia, and many other countries since its inception.

Among the cast for the first shows in the new season are fan favourites Stephen Butterworth and Sheena Irving as well as household names including The Castle‘s Anne Tenney and Naked Samoans star Dave Fane.

But while the acting talent is second-to-none, it’s the response of audiences and critics to the company’s work that has made the biggest splash.

“The way New Zealanders have responded to this project is absolutely astonishing,” says Dr Gregory. “You can come and see one of our shows for just $10, standing in the yard just inches from the action. The mix of low entry-level prices combined with exciting and bloody action on stage is the reason why we see young people come again and again to see our shows, sometimes attending over twenty or thirty times over the season. We love to see the passion our work inspires in our audiences.”

Critics across the ditch in Australia have raved about the company’s seasons in Melbourne and Sydney, with the Sydney Morning Herald critic describing Macbeth as “possibly the finest production of the play I have ever seen”, and the Australian Stage reviewer writing that Pop-up Globe’s As You Like It in Melbourne was “the best night of theatre ever”.

“Many Pop-up Globe shows are more like a riot than a traditional theatre show,” Dr Gregory says, “and this new season sees uproarious comedy mixed with fourteen actors performing full battle sequences in bespoke armour and covering our groundlings in blood. We can promise this season will bring nothing less with more battles, more blood and more laughter than ever before.”


News update: Friday 14 September


Extensive critical acclaim rolls in for exported Kiwi theatre

New Zealand’s most successful theatrical export, Pop-up Globe has taken Sydney by storm, with influential critic John Shand from The Age declaring its production of Macbeth as the best they’ve ever seen.

Starring two of New Zealand’s finest actors, Stephen Lovatt and Amanda Billing, the adulations don’t stop at this glowing review with Lovatt described as “absolute theatrical dynamite” by Australian Stage and the Tom Mallaburn-directed tragedy as “an altogether new feast for the senses in its boldly theatrical use of this wonderful performance space”.

The Sydney media has heaped praise on Pop-up Globe’s version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with every indication this production will be a blockbuster hit. Containing 20% te reo Maori, spoken by the mischievous fairies in the woods, Australian Stage said this production is “a remarkable achievement in out-of-the-box theatre making” with The Sydney Morning Herald saying it’s “as rollicking and immersive a production of Shakespeare’s most popular comedy has has ever romped across a modern stage.”

Pop-up Globe’s presentation of bonkers farce The Comedy of Errors also won its fair share of praise. Arts Review describes it as “the chance to jump in a time machine and experience something magical”, and Broadway World Sydney says it is “highly entertaining”.

Creator and artistic director Dr Miles Gregory is thrilled with Sydney’s reception of Pop-up Globe, which has popped up at the heart of the city’s Entertainment Quarter in Moore Park.

“The reviews are world-class,” says Dr Gregory. “As an artist, I couldn’t ask for greater recognition for the work we’ve created. I am honoured that Sydney has embraced us with such enthusiasm.”

“I am very proud of our whole company as ambassadors for New Zealand arts and culture.”

Since its inception in Auckland less than three years ago, over 500,000 people have seen one of the Bard’s masterpieces in Auckland, at the company’s first international season in Melbourne, and now in Sydney.

The Sydney season has been extended until December 2.


News update: Friday 27 July, 2pm

Statement from Pop-up Globe Auckland.

At Pop-up Globe we strive to make work that brings unity, joy and hope.

The response to our upcoming Auckland season has made us think about how we can do this better.

So we’re making a change.

From today we are making a commitment to cast equal numbers of male and female actors for every new Auckland season.

In the 2018/19 Auckland season of The Taming of the Shrew, Richard III, Measure for Measure, and Hamlet, 14 women and 14 men will make up two 50:50 gender-balanced casts.

In any future seasons we will work within this commitment to increase the quality, quantity and diversity of the work we produce, celebrating and sharing the magic of Shakespeare’s plays.

There may be different gender balances for individual productions, but there will be 50:50 gender balance on stage during a season.

We appreciate this is a change to our published casting. If you purchased a ticket to The Taming of the Shrew or Richard III and wish to have a refund please contact our ticketing partner Eventfinda on 0800 BUY TIX (289 849) or See terms and conditions below.

Thank you to everyone who has given us their feedback. We’re very grateful.

Kind regards,

Dr Miles Gregory
Artistic Director & Founder, Pop-up Globe

Terms & conditions:

1. Refund is valid to ticket purchasers who purchased a ticket to The Taming of the Shrew or Richard III before Friday 3 August 2018.
2. To action refund, ticket purchasers must contact Eventfinda on 0800 BUY TIX or email before Friday 31 August. After this time Eventfinda’s regular refund policy applies and no refunds will be made.
3. Applications for refunds not complying with these terms and conditions will be invalid. Pop-up Globe accepts no responsibility for incorrectly completed, lost, delayed or unprocessed online purchases.
4. Pop-up Globe reserves the right to extend, cancel or amend the refund terms and conditions at any time.